Used Car Review

2013 Chevrolet Traverse: Used Car Review

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Used 2013 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ
Used 2013 Chevrolet Traverse
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author photo by Ron Sessions February 2016

Although it's a midsize, the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse crossover SUV is longer overall and has more passenger and cargo space than a full-size Tahoe. As with its GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave stablemates, the Traverse uses a lightweight car-based design with unit-body construction, a fully independent suspension and a transverse-mounted engine. This results in carlike ride and handling. With almost 1,000 fewer pounds to carry around, an all-aluminum, direct-injected V6 dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission instead of a big V8, it has better fuel economy than the truck-based Tahoe. The 2013 Traverse receives face-lifted front and rear styling, an upgraded interior with better-quality soft-touch materials, articulated front-seat headrests, a new center stack and upgraded infotainment with Chevrolet MyLink and a 6.5-inch touchscreen, plus a new front-center side airbag for between the front bucket seats. Also, changes to the front suspension for 2013 reduce body lean in corners, and new shock calibrations improve low-speed ride quality.

The Traverse is available in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. A unique slide-and-fold second-row seat that stacks flat against the back of the front seats provides easy access to the roomy third-row bench. All second-row seat positions feature LATCH child-seat anchors. Other available equipment includes rear-seat DVD entertainment, a power lift gate, heated and cooled front seats, a backup camera and a panoramic sunroof.

The Traverse is a good used-vehicle choice for growing families with its 7- or 8-passenger seating, minivanlike passenger and cargo space, and 5,200-lb towing capability.

What We Like

Roomy third-row seat; communicative steering; high safety ratings; solid structure

What We Don't

Smallish navigation screen; low second-row seating position; lackluster fuel economy

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The sole engine choice is an advanced-design 3.6-liter DOHC V6 with variable valve timing, four valves per cylinder and direct fuel injection. In base tune, it has a single exhaust and is rated at 281 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. The optional dual-exhaust version bumps output to 288 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential sport shifting is standard, and both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available. Both versions of the V6 burn regular unleaded fuel and are rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive and 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The 2013 Chevy Traverse comes in LS, LT and LTZ trim.

Typical LS equipment includes a backup camera, front and rear air conditioning, 8-passenger seating with cloth seats, split fold-down second- and third-row seats, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, remote keyless entry, the OnStar communication system, SiriusXM radio with real-time traffic notification, an outside-temperature display, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder, auto headlamps, cruise control, 17-in steel wheels, a rear wiper/washer, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes and power door locks, mirrors and windows.

The LT trim adds 18-in alloy wheels, speed-sensing steering, mirrors with integrated turn signals, fog lamps, steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a power driver's seat and rear parking assist. The options list is opened up to include navigation, automatic air conditioning, a power sunroof, a power lift gate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a garage-door opener, a premium audio system with 10 speakers, rear audio controls, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with headphones, remote vehicle starting, second-row bucket seats, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power front passenger seat, and blind-zone and rear cross-traffic alert systems.

The range-topping LTZ goes all in, making much of the equipment that is optional on the LT standard, such as a power lift gate, navigation, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, a Bose 10-speaker premium audio system, remote vehicle starting, second-row buckets, blind-side zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert systems. The LTZ also adds a standard driver's-memory seat, a leather shift knob, ventilated front seats, 20-in alloy wheels and outside heated power-folding mirrors with driver's-side auto dimming. The 288-hp dual-exhaust engine is standard on the LTZ, as well.


The Traverse offers almost as much passenger and cargo space as a minivan but without the sliding side doors and soccer-mom stigma. Clean, used family vehicles such as the Traverse are in steady demand, especially low-mileage examples with all-wheel drive. Prices will be more reasonable for front-wheel-drive models. Because the Traverse has standard traction control and the majority of its weight over the front driving wheels, it offers all the poor-weather traction most buyers will really need.

For a good idea of the prices of used 2013 Traverse crossovers, check out the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2013 Traverse:

The outboard seat-belt support cable for the front seats may separate and fail to restrain the seat occupant in a crash.

Due to electrical resistance in the wiring-harness connectors, the side-impact airbags and seat-belt pretensioners may not deploy in a crash.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2013 Chevy Traverse a 5-star overall rating, with five stars for frontal impacts, five stars for side impacts and four stars for rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 Traverse a Top Safety Pick. It gave it a Good rating for moderate-overlap front impacts, side impacts, roof structure and head-restraint and seat-crash performance.

Chevrolet covered the 2013 Traverse with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and a 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

Chevrolet certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or less. Every CPO Traverse undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus whatever remains on the transferable original 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. Also included is a 2-year/24,000-mile maintenance plan with roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2013 Ford Explorer -- New for 2013 is a Sport version with a rousing 365-hp EcoBoost twin-turbo V6, 20-in wheels and all-wheel drive. The Taurus-based Explorer offers decent fuel economy, along with carlike ride and handling. Three-row seating is standard. Other engine choices include a 290-hp 3.5-liter V6 or a 240-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder. Both V6 models can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The MyFord Touch infotainment system on these models can be buggy and has required many service updates.

2013 Toyota Highlander -- Toyota's 7-passenger midsize crossover is available with a 187-hp 2.7-liter 4-cylinder, a peppy 270-hp 3.5-liter V6 or as a hybrid that's EPA-rated at 22 mpg city/28 mpg hwy. The third-row seat folds flat into the floor, but its cramped design is for children only, as access to the third row is difficult. A Center Stow second-row seat provides a small center seat for a child or can be stowed away.

Autotrader's Advice

The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse offers a smooth-riding, more fuel-efficient alternative to truck-based SUVs such as the Tahoe while providing interior space rivaling that of a minivan. While its 5,200-lb tow rating isn't up to truck standards, it's plenty for most small boats and travel trailers. Changes for 2013, including upgraded interior materials, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system and ride improvements, make this model year a better choice compared to the earlier models. Make sure all applicable safety recalls have been performed on the Traverse you're looking to buy, and go for a lower-mileage or Chevrolet certified example whenever possible.

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Used 2013 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ
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Used 2013 Chevrolet Traverse FWD LTZ
Used 2013 Chevrolet Traverse
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2013 Chevrolet Traverse: Used Car Review - Autotrader